RIO DE JANEIRO; (Reuters) - South American countries on Thursday urged Venezuela and Guyana to seek a peaceful solution to their territorial dispute over the Esequibo region, warning the nations to avoid "unilateral actions" on the conflict.
Members of the Mercosur trade bloc "express their deep concern at the rise in tensions between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana," said a joint statement from the bloc's member countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Non-Mercosur members Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru also signed the statement.
The countries urged both parties "to engage in dialogue and seek a peaceful solution to the dispute, in order to avoid unilateral actions and initiatives that could aggravate it."
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Brendan O'Boyle)